We participate in a tragedy; at a comedy we only look.
From their experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn.
What with making their way and enjoying what they have won, heroes have no time to think. But the sons of heroes – ah, they have all the necessary leisure.
The finest works of art are precious, among other reasons, because they make it possible for us to know, if only imperfectly and for a little while, what it actually feels like to think subtly and feel nobly.
Europe is so well gardened that it resembles a work of art, a scientific theory, a neat metaphysical system. Man has re-created Europe in his own image.
Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.
The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar… Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen.
Words, words, words! They shut one off from the universe. Three quarters of the time one’s never in contact with things, only with the beastly words that stand for them.
What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.
Feasts must be solemn and rare, or else they cease to be feasts.
Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.
It’s with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.
Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.
It takes two to make a murder. There are born victims, born to have their throats cut, as the cut-throats are born to be hanged.
That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.